Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

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(120 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins Plus cooling


Serves 50
This recipe makes the bottom layer of our three tier wedding cake or a simple delicious chocolate cake, perfect with a touch of cream

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal274
  • fat16g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs30g
  • sugars20g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.23g
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  • 650g unsalted butter
  • 650g plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 100ml very strong coffee- espresso is ideal
  • 3 tsp vanilla essence



    The sun-dried seed pod of a type of climbing orchid, vanilla has an inimitable soft, sweet…

  • 650g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 950g light soft brown sugar
  • 10 eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 2 x 284ml/9½ fl oz soured cream


  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter, double-line and wrap the sides of the 30cm deep-round cake tin as before. Put the butter and chocolate into a medium saucepan, then stir over a low heat until melted and smooth. Stir in the coffee and vanilla.

  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the biggest bowl you have. Add the sugar, breaking down any lumps with your fingertips if necessary. Beat the eggs and soured cream together in a jug or bowl and pour into the flour mix. Pour in the melted chocolate mix as well, then stir with a wooden spoon until you have a thick, even chocolaty batter.

  3. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 2½ hrs – don’t open the oven door before 2 hrs is up, as this will cause the cake to sink. Once cooked, leave in the tin to cool completely. The unfilled cake will keep for up to four days, wrapped as before, or frozen for a month.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Sara Patel's picture
Sara Patel
10th Jan, 2019
Just made this and baked half in a 9” pan! Bit anxious with the bake time as it’s risen and cracked a little at the edges after only 15minutes. I also have to bake it one after the other as I only have one 9” so I’m praying that leaving the remainder batter on the counter for so long will be ok
30th Sep, 2018
Made this today in 2 x 6 inch sandwich tins. Divided recipe by 5 - used Bournville choc and missed out vanilla. Baked for 50 mins @ 140 fan. When baked mixture filled tins to the brim. Sandwiched together with choc buttercream. Really moist and fudgy. Will definitely make again.
Julia Woolia's picture
Julia Woolia
23rd Sep, 2018
I made this cake in a 10 inch pan. It took longer to bake which I was concerned about but looks fab. Can anyone help me by recommending a chocolate butter cream recipe to go with this cake or what did other bakers use please?
21st Aug, 2018
I made this as the bottom layer for my nephew's wedding (120 people). It took a little longer to bake than the recipe called for, but was absolutely delicious. I pricked it while still warm, and poured brandy over. It didn't need filling and was incredibly moist throughout (wrapping the outside in two layers of newspaper helped keep the bake even throughout and allowed the cake to bake flat rather than dome. I'll definitely use this recipe again.
Helenjzk's picture
4th Jul, 2018
I’ve agonised over what cake to make for my niece’s wedding cake which has to feed 120 people. Went with this one largely based on all the fantastic reviews. Many thanks to all who’ve commented. I made the first two yesterday, an 11 and 7” and they taste wonderful (even though I over-cooked the 11” due to unreliable oven temp, it was still fabulous) and am looking forward to cooking all the rest! Again many thanks!
Iulia And's picture
Iulia And
29th Jun, 2018
I have made this for an 8" tin, worked out perfectly! Very happy with the result, I'm not fond on chocolate cakes and they all seemed to fail me before. This is a great recipe and will be one of my favourites from now on :) Thank you
11th Jun, 2018
I made this cake at the weekend as a special birthday cake. I went for the larger option, but not having a 30cm tin, went for a 26cm one and just added a little less of the mixture. I've never baked a cake with so many eggs before, so was a little anxious as to the end results! I duly waited for the recommended two hours before sneaking a peek and could not have been more delighted with the end result! It was simply the most perfect cake I have ever made! I decorated with chocolate buttercream, dark chocolate cigarillos around the edges and fresh raspberries on the top. An amazingly moist and rich delight, which definitely wowed the assembled party guests! Would definitely recommend.
22nd Jul, 2017
I made this cake for my daughter's wedding and I had so many compliments on it. It is the best chocolate cake I have ever made and will now use this recipe from now on. I recently made this in an 8inch tin and I used a third of the mixture and baked it for 1 hr 40 mins. It came out perfectly and after cutting off the top, this was enough for 2 layers, 1 inch thick each. I filled this with chocolate ganache and homemade berry jam.
5th Jul, 2017
I made this recipe at the weekend. I can confirm it is a lovely rich sticky cake with good keeping qualities. I made a 8" using 0.4 times the recipe. It took 2 hours to cook! The resulting cake was 3" high but sunk in the middle so once levelled it was only 2 1/2" high. I am planning to make this a the full 12" for a wedding in a month - anyone shed any light on how high the full recipe is once levelled. I need 4" so I was going to make 1.25 times the recipe and cook in two tins for a more even cook.
25th Jun, 2017
I'm hoping someone is still around on this thread to help! Made my first trial of this cake in prep for my wedding. The cake itself is divine, so rich and gooey and tasty! But, mine Turne do it pretty ugly. Halved the recipe and used 2 x 8 inch pans. They initially rose well, but the middle sunk and the sides shrunk away from the pan. I double lined and also tied twine around the outside of the raised baking paper. I'll be cutting them down to freeze and layer, but any help for getting them nice and level? I have read about the wet towels, which I'll try, and I'll fill them less so that they don't rise over the edge of the pan. My main concern is the edges lean in


Fiona Bonnar
22nd Mar, 2019
Does this recipe use medium or large eggs please?
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. You need to use medium eggs in this recipe.
4th Feb, 2019
I have made this in a deep 8" tin using 0.4 of the mixture. I cooked it for two hours and although the top was fairly 'bumpy' and crisp, it did not actually sink. Cutting it into 3 slices I was surprised by how dense the cake was - is this how it should be? I am wanting to freeze it for a birthday cake next week so wont get chance to do a taste test. I will turn it upside down so that the bumpy top becomes the bottom.
goodfoodteam's picture
5th Feb, 2019
Thanks for your question. The image gives an indication of the texture of the cake which as you can see is denser than something like a Victoria sandwich. Without seeing the cake we can't say whether yours is the desired texture but we'd say it should have a little spring in it when pressed in the centre.
Julia Woolia's picture
Julia Woolia
23rd Sep, 2018
please can someone help with recipe for filling this heavy cake, either buttercream or cream?
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Oct, 2018
Hi Julia, thanks for your question. You'll find information on filling the cake in the following recipe:
15th Aug, 2018
I’m hoping someone can help me decipher some of this recipe. I have pretty much figured out the conversions to America’s ridiculous non-metric system, but I’m curious (for those who have made the cake)... when it says 2x the sour cream, I just want to make sure they literally mean a total of 568ml? And why wouldn’t they just write that? Only thing I can guess is that’s the size of the container it comes in for you guys across the pond. Any other tips?
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Aug, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, it's just 2 of the standard 284ml pots you get from British supermarkets so measuring 568ml will give you the same.
13th Jul, 2018
Urgent question! Does anyone know what depth the naked cake should be please?? Thanks! AM
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Jul, 2018
Thanks for your question. The cake will be should be in the region of 3 inches/ 7.5cm in depth.


12th Feb, 2019
This cake is fab. I’ve made it twice now. If it helps anyone else, I made half, used a square 9in tin and baked for 1.5h. It was perfect and I will be making two more for a birthday party.
9th Dec, 2014 This is a link to a brilliant website which helps with converting the ingredients for different sized tins. Just put in all the quantities, original tin size, the size of tin you want to use, and the ingredients automatically come up at the bottom of the page.
Fiona cheng
19th Oct, 2014
Hi, may I know if you use buttercream in between layers?'s picture
17th Dec, 2013
This recipe also works brilliantly using buttermilk instead of sour cream. I've just made it today using left over buttermilk, much cheaper, less fat, and tastes the same! This is my ultimate choc cake for any requests I have, it's easy, foolproof and always gets great reviews!
14th Oct, 2013
I made this first as a layer on my sisters wedding cake. now I make it quite often for friends who seem to enjoy it even more when i add the juice and zest of 2 limes to butter cream icing to fill and top it with. The strong, rich dark chocolate and the taste of the zesty lime seem to really compliment each other.
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